Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ella: The Saga Continues

It's interesting: Isaac Asimov is credited with the saying "The only constant is change," but the sentiment, in a variety of words, goes back to at least Plato.

I wonder if perhaps the only constant is plagiarism.

At any rate, changes have been coming fast and free in 2008. In Ella news, the January operation didn't really do much. She came out of her endoscopy in perfect, if totally unchanged, health. This, by the way, is a fluoroscope of her liver:

The "string of pearls" is, essentially, the bile ducts in the left side of her liver. Scar tissue and repeated expansion have transformed them from a straight line into a twisted maze. That, however, is not the problem. The problem is that her bile is not draining into her small intestine, as it should be.

Consequently, Ella's going in for a "Kasai Revision" in late March. Essentially, this means that the doctors will detach her liver from her small intestine, cut away scar tissue until they find a viable bile duct, and reattach her liver to her small intestine. The operation should take four or five hours, and she will be out of commission for a month or so. I'm going to live with her for a week, and her high school friend Janie will be staying with her for a few weeks afterward.

Ella has prepared for this extremely well. She has lined up people to help her, is getting internet for the time when she will be out, has dealt with Medicaid and gotten them to foot the bill, and has organized communication between her original doctors, her current doctors, and various other health-care professionals throughout the country. In the meantime, she's found the energy to teach her classes, make art from her bile, and get a brand new haircut. The kid amazes me.

In the meantime, I've been doing a lot of freelance work and temp jobs, as they've been leaving me free to bolt off to Pennsylvania at a moment's notice. The wife, meanwhile, has gotten a new job, which she loves even more than her old job. The daughter is now in a new daycare that is right down the street from our house, which gives us about two more hours of personal/family time per day. In other words, things are, as usual, mixed.

Unfortunately, all this impending reality has left me very little time for my blog responsibilities; frankly, I have been amazingly neglectful with my posts, not to mention my failure to comment on your blogs. I will try to rectify as soon as possible!


  • Take your time, post when you can. Thanks for the Ella update. She is amazing, to do all she has done, maintained her sanity and looking to another surgery. WOW. You are all in our thoughts!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At February 19, 2008 at 9:52 PM  

  • Ditto what MRP said. I'll take whatever Crankster is available without complaint. (and not complaining is really not like me, so you know I'm being sincere).

    By Blogger JamieSmitten, At February 19, 2008 at 10:35 PM  

  • yes, take care of you and your family first. I am glad that all is OK though...after my last comment, I was really hoping that the absence was not because of bad news! Thanks for the update and I'll be thinking of you guys

    By Blogger Claudia, At February 20, 2008 at 1:41 AM  

  • I think you're allowed a little laxity in the circumstances...

    This year has been such a rollercoaster so far, no? Glad to see you're keeping your head above water anyway.


    By Blogger Glamourpuss, At February 20, 2008 at 7:39 AM  

  • I love how artists always justify the materials with which they create.

    Yeah, I work primarily in... bile. Yup.

    Very nice.

    By Blogger M@, At February 20, 2008 at 7:39 PM  

  • The very best of luck to Ella and her entire support team. She is an incredible young woman, and I hope the upcoming surgery is perfect, and the last one she needs.

    You are missed but you have far more important things to do than read blogs. Take good care of you, too, and thanks for the update.

    By Blogger heartinsanfrancisco, At February 21, 2008 at 2:55 AM  

  • Take your time, Ace, I'm always behind myself. I'll go put in the existential fix for Ella. Send her my regards.

    By Blogger The CEO, At February 21, 2008 at 9:41 AM  

  • I've kept Ella and you and your whole family in my thoughts. Thank you so much for this update.

    Definitely a mix to deal with. Your sister sounds like an incredible person. {Hug}

    Don't worry about checking at my blog. Just take the time for you and your family and keep on being the amazing brother you are! I'll keep all of you in my thoughts.

    {{Happy Hug}}

    By Blogger Echomouse, At February 21, 2008 at 12:06 PM  

  • Yeah we'll still all be here. Maybe the only constant is the internet! Warm thoughts for your sister and great to here that VA is loving her new job!

    I think I'll be coming back up to NYC in April to look at some art. Lemme know if you'd like to join!

    By Anonymous Franki, At February 21, 2008 at 6:12 PM  

  • Pool-
    Thanks for the kind thoughts and words. Hopefully we'll be able to see each other fairly soon!

    Thanks--I'll try to offer more Crankster as soon as possible!

    Thanks for the regular checks. It's nice to have somebody watching out, y'know?

    On the bright side, it's been a LOT better than 2007!

    The kid's worked in beets, melted coins and wax, latex, spare car parts, bathtubs... In context, bile just isn't that surprising.

    Thank you. And thanks for checking in; it's meant a lot.

    Or should I call you Dago Red?

    Thanks for the fix, and the good wishes!

    Thanks for the hugs. They're much, much appreciated!

    By Blogger Crankster, At February 23, 2008 at 9:53 AM  

  • Franki-
    Thought I forgot about you? Ain't gonna happen! I'm going to San Diego for a wedding in the middle of the month, but will be here before and after the weekend of the 11th. Let me know your plans!

    By Blogger Crankster, At February 23, 2008 at 9:57 AM  

  • So there you are! I missed you too.
    Glad to hear that Ella is doing the best she can with her "situation"...she's amazing. Glad to hear you guys are moving right along there.....Some day we'll catch up and do lunch or sompin!

    By Blogger Odat, At February 29, 2008 at 8:35 AM  

  • You have been so much better than me and I have no real excuse except I seem to spend all my free time flying in airplanes, at the gym, or having sex. Not such a bad life actually. Ella is indeed an amazing woman, tough as they come. I love her sight unseen.

    By Blogger Spellbound, At March 2, 2008 at 1:52 PM  

  • Odat-
    I hope we get to do something soon! Maybe sometime in the next couple of weeks?

    Sounds like a great life, actually!

    By Blogger Crankster, At March 8, 2008 at 4:35 PM  

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